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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Raw Diet - Supplements - Overwhelmed
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Waterford, MI
Forum Posts: 23
Member Since:
4 June 2016
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6 July 2016 - 3:44 pm
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Henry will be celebrating his 1 month ampuversary on Friday.  At the encouragement of a friend who lost her dog to cancer, I introduced Henry to a raw diet this weekend.  I bought a trial size bag or Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Frozen bites.  My dog is a picky eater and when I smelled this food I was like, he'll never eat this.  I thawed out some and he absolutely loved it.  Wouldn't eat his kibble after that.  I picked up more and he has been transitioning great.  I am reading a lot about supplements and not sure if he needs them or not.

Henry's situation.

Pre-amputation he weighed almost 30 lbs.  (Way too many treats, busy bones, dentastix and people food)  He was not having any mobility issues, using all four legs, running, jumping fine.  He had a sarcoma that was too large to remove and amputation was done to maximize his odds and try to prevent radiation and chemo.  

Post-amputation he weighes about 27lbs (still needs to lose 5+ to stop the strain on his right front paw that has a small luxating patella)  I'm very afraid of him going down anymore than 2 low stairs and/or jumping off the couch.  The surgery did eliminate his cancer.  His only follow up is chest x-rays every 3-4 months. 

My question is, are the supplements for dogs still dealing with cancer and cancer treatment?  Dogs who had/have osteosarcoma?  I want to make sure that he's getting all the nutrition he needs and from what I'm told the raw diet does that, but so much is said about the supplements I want to make sure.  He's eating much healthier now and because he is so tired after walks etc he doesn't beg for treats anymore and I don't have to deal with saying no to him!!   I'll talk to my vet about this but I'm curious what opinions my tripawd family has. In some ways I feel like we have a better understanding of what each other is going through and our focus is more on our specific situations (3 legs) where the vets offer advice but deal with so many situations they don't get too specific.  Make sense?

Forum Posts: 2010
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14 February 2016
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7 July 2016 - 3:29 am
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We are doing K9 immunity .  The onco said that there was no real proof that it works for osteo dogs, but that it is a safe supplement and many of her clients use it, so it was our choice.  Plus once Otis got through chemo, he really liked it as a treat.  Both of my dogs also get Dasaquin (glucosamine) and Fish Oil, Otis for arthritis and Tess due to her cruciate repair last summer.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 19
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5 July 2016
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7 July 2016 - 3:46 am
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Hi, I am a human nutritionist by training but did raw food transitions for a couple of dogs I fostered during the process of transitioning. The dogs I transitioned mostly had osteoarthritis and worsening hip problems so needed weight loss.

Dr Ian Billinghurst's book "Give a dog a bone" is the best advice in terms of raw feeding using non-proprietary foods and minimal supplements - we pretty much only added fish oil and a low dose Vitamin C on an every other day basis with the vegetable pulp (and the dogs LOVED the vege pulp with the fishy taste) some dogs can be fussy about the cruciferous veges in the pulp and the farts until they get accustomed to it can be a tad smelly - a Newfoundland can clear a room.

I like Dr Billinghurst's advice that if the dog is seen burying a meaty bone you fast them the next day, because the "sticking the bone in the pantry" is a sign they are full.

With raw meaty bone feeding you must use plastic gloves to clean the poop and be scrupulously clean with your poop removal but it was easier because once the vegetable farts cleared after day 10, the poop was less smelly than usual.

Oh, and we found that dogs did best strictly grain free so no one should give treats at all - all the dogs would get a flare in their OA pain if they even had a crust of bread

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 July 2016 - 8:41 am
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Glad to hear that Henry is on the path to losing weight, that will help soooo much. Raw diets will help too as long as you do it smart and ensure he's getting appropriate nutrition.

Have you hopped over to the Tripawds Nutrition blog to check out diets and ideas that folks have shared through the years?

Also, we really love TruDog raw freeze-dried. Our Wyatt ray is doing SO well on it.

Vets do their best to provide good nutrition advice, but the problem is they receive so little training in it while in vet school. If you really want to ensure you're giving Henry the best diet for his unique physiology, a consult with a veterinary nutritionist is always beneficial. They're hard to find but many work long distance with clients. See: http://www.acvn.....directory/

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Waterford, MI
Forum Posts: 23
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4 June 2016
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7 July 2016 - 9:21 am
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Thanks so much for all the great information.  I'm definitely going to take a look at that book and look for a nutritionist. 

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7 July 2016 - 4:54 pm
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We also went grain free , although are feeding commercial.  I can barely cook for myself, let alone the dogs.  Thanks for the tip about arthritis pain - I would have gone grain free a long time ago had I known that.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Waterford, MI
Forum Posts: 23
Member Since:
4 June 2016
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7 July 2016 - 7:01 pm
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Christine I know what you mean I can't cook at all! I'm glad there are options to feed raw without having to create it yourself. As of now Henry is eating healthier than me! 

Forum Posts: 19
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5 July 2016
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7 July 2016 - 7:13 pm
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With Dr Billinghurst's approach there is no cooking and the only problem I encountered was my food processor smelling a bit fishy unless I added the fish oil after tipping the vege pulp into the feeding bowls.

Dogs are omnivores so it's harder to get their nutrition wrong unless you are raw feeding pups or pregnant /lactating bitches.

Cat raw feeding is a much scarier prospect. They are obligate carnivores and you have to get the organ meat to bone to flesh ratios right. There is also considerable debate as to whether you should feed cats from ruminant animals (cows and sheep) because of the amino acid profile and lower calcium. Add that to the fact that many a cat will tell you to go take a hike unless you provide the favourite flavour of the favourite brand...and I think we will stick with commercial food unless I can get a supply of frozen mice...

Waterford, MI
Forum Posts: 23
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4 June 2016
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7 July 2016 - 7:45 pm
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Quirkyfriend, thanks for all the info. Poor choice of words with "I can't cook" let's just say I can't put recipes together cooked or not-cooked!! Haha I downloaded Dr Billinghurst's book and I'm finding it so interesting.  Henry had some mucus in his poop tonight so I hope it's just detox from his previous poor diet. Although I do know I have lots to learn and obviously the mucus is telling me something needs to be added or changed.  (Started raw on Saturday) Also found a nice site with poop samples for dogs on rawdiet and what the poop means they're lacking or getting too much of.. Guess you can find anything on the internet.oh-my

Forum Posts: 19
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5 July 2016
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7 July 2016 - 11:50 pm
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Mucus can be the gut showing a bit of stress (irritable bowel syndrome) which is kind of logical given all Henry has been through in the last month! Also raw feed has bonemeal in it instead of vegetable fibre and the gut will be going "this is different" and his gut bacteria will be adjusting...

As a human nutritionist I use a thing called the Bristol Stool Chart when discussing bowel movements...Google it.

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